Are Colors the Secret Ingredient?

Colors of spring
Colors of spring

YES! Colors are the secret ingredient to Spring time! We are coming out of our winter shells and happy for the promises Spring can bring. If you think about it as a larger frame, all the pieces fit perfectly.

The meaning of the color indigo reflects great devotion, wisdom, and justice along with fairness and impartiality. It is a defender of people’s rights to the end. (Blue Berries and Blue flowers are popping out)

The meaning of the color pink is unconditional love and nurturing. In color psychology, pink is a sign of hope. It is a positive color inspiring warm and comforting feelings, a sense that everything will be okay. (Pink Blooms ALL around, especially in this location with the beautiful Cherry Trees, RedBuds, and dogwoods!)

The color white is the color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. The psychological meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion. (White flowers abound: Lily of the Valley, Snowdrops,  my  front yard has beautiful white camellia blooms- just to name a few.)

The color green relates to balance and harmony. From a color psychology perspective, it is the great balancer of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart. (ALL the shades of green, especially that new lush green as leaves begin to unfold-it’s hard to beat that!)

The color red is a warm and positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. It exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy. (Flowers of azaleas, poppies, and tulips are what come to my mind!)

Even though I don’t have a pix – how could we possibly not mention YELLOW! The color yellow relates to acquired knowledge. It is the color which resonates with the left or logic side of the brain stimulating our mental faculties and creating mental agility and perception. (Blooms of the Daffs and the forsythias! )

Put it all together, and you have wisdom, fairness, unconditional love, hope, perfection, wholeness, balance, harmony, mental agility topped of with our will to survive!  It’s little wonder Spring busting out all around feels so good!

info from:

4 Reasons why Reinventions can be sweeter than Easter Morning-no candy involved!

Times they are a changing…
The weather, the earth, the world….it’s enough to make my head spin!

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin

Read more:  Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-changin’ Lyrics | MetroLyrics (and hear the song)

Dylan famously goes on to write the next verse about writers and critics, followed by politicians, with the last stance about mothers and fathers. So timely!

The times certainly are ‘a-changing’, Bob Dylan is now the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for literature—first time for lyrics, as opposed to a novel. It was said that it is “perhaps the most radical choice in a (Noble Peace Prize) history stretching back to 1901.” (reason #1)

Spring brings Easter, Passover and I am sure there are other holidays of spring renewals that I don’t even know. Spring is busting out with colors- greens, yellows, pinks and red splashes all around! (reason #2) I’ve been thinking a lot about changing, or ‘reinventions’ as I am now trying to call, and view, all the changes. As a child the world is always changing, we are continually learning, and trying all different hats, paths, and ways all the time. That’s a good thing. As an adult constant learning and forward motion is still a good thing. That said-constant change is not easy. However, I hope I never stop learning and exploring. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Curiosity does keep the soul, mind, and body alive! (reason #3)

For myself, all these ‘reinventions’ are global as well as very personal. It feels like a spinning top at a dizzying speed. How about you?

…and speaking of changes…
A new kind of Botanical Beauties has come to town! I’m having fun with flowers in new ways (reason #4.) Stay tuned as we see together what and how this develops.

BBB3 is Expanding
There’s a new bird in town! Click on the image to see it larger.

For more about Bob Dylan.

Read more:  Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-changin’ Special Memory By AmandaH | MetroLyrics

Spring has finally sprung! Can you find the sun?

We had very dreary week here in MA. last week, but I am a happy to say that the sun HAS come out again! It’s hard not to acknowledge the analogy to life here and that hopefully the sun does come out again from whatever clouds are on top of you at any given time. As for me, the endless days of grey really seemed to affect my psyche, and it appeared to me that was true for many people/friends I spoke with as well.  The good news is the sun is out again, showing its sunny bright self for a few days now. To honor the sun, and the (finally) arrival of spring, todays post shall be a photo collage I am calling Hurrah it’s Spring! The photos are all from todays sunny Sunday wonderful dog walk with a wonderful friend – whom I want to give a shout out to for all the friendship and support we pass back and forth, don’t know what I would do without you! For that matter while I thinking about it, it’s a good time to thanks ALL my wonderful friends and family for all everyone does. There are pieces of me that would be lost without each one of you. Spring seems to be a good time to give a nod to all those we treasure. Something about buds bursting, shoots popping up, colors reappearing, streams flowing again, and that ever so luscious feel of sun on my skin after a long winter. I hope everyone has a moment or two to notice the sun, the blossoms, the flowers, the glorious colors, dancing yellow Willow trees, and I couldn’t  resist adding the cows. I will call them The Cummerbund Cows, who appear to be enjoying the spring grass! We can all enjoy and rejoice in the beauty of nature and springtime …and…. THANK GOODNESS FOR THE SUN AGAIN!
The Beauties & Beasties, and myself,  hope the sun is shinning on your days.  (Check out that cow on the far right- looking at me looking at them!)

Some of the wonders of Spring!

…and we are off to The Cape


Cptuit Sign

 43rd Annual Festival of Arts & Crafts in the Seaside Village of Cotuit.

This weekend the CraftFest Cotuit on the Cotuit Village Green becomes the largest outdoor crafts festival on Cape Cod! Come on down and join the fun, see the art, and enjoy.

“More than 100 artisans and craftsmen gather at this premier showing of skilled craftsmanship and artistic talent. A day spent at CraftFest Cotuit is a day full of artistic inspiration, dialogue and learning, with all the pleasures of a quintessential summer village festival, down by the seaside, on Cape Cod. And, once more, the festival’s organizers will offer both free parking and free admission.”

Another Weekend and ART to enjoy.

And we are off to Narragansett
Heirloom Charlie, recycled, UPcycled tractor, on his way to Narragansett. Gordy is on his canvas, waiting to fly over for the weekend.

107 Vendor spots to be filled with visual pleasures for your eyes! 31st Annual Narragansett Art Festival.  Yes that reads Art, not arts and/or crafts fair. That means you see new and different items if you are a frequent weekend show goer!

Heirloom Charlie, just couldn’t resist- he left today for he is riding his tractor down!  The rest of us will be there and ready bright and early Saturday (and Sunday)  morning!

Free Admission…. June 22 and 23 — 9 am to 5 pm
Veterans Memorial Park – that would be right next to the Historic Towers and the water! All in lovely Narragansett R.I.

In case you get hungry, 2 invited Food trucks, and tons of good eats all over Narragansett.

We will be there with our “goods” – art prints, Mini Arts, i.e. cards, Handmade lacquered boxes and  trays and a few Beauties on mugs. Come on down and join the visual feast.


Looking for fun & what to do? We can help!

Not one but TWO chances to greet, meet, see, say hi, enjoy, buy cool art things, do good, and smile this weekend!

April 27 – Celebrate Earth day: See over 75 exhibitors including local artisans, green products, alternative energy, community groups, health+fitness, home improvement, food, music and more!    Click here for the full listing! ( You can even do some ‘big time’ recycling at the event! Check it out! ) 11 AM -3 PM Framingham Centre Village Green on the Common, Framingham MA.

April 28 -Art In The Garden is this Sunday! 11am-4pm at Weston Nurseries is Hopkinton. In its 6th year, Art In The Garden will host 50 local artisans exhibiting their handmade wares on the beautiful grounds of Weston Nurseries.
You will find stained glass, pottery, jewelry, etched slates, bath & body products, candles, handbags, tote bags, furniture, clothing, garden art, paintings, note cards, birdhouses, winds chimes, pillows, dog collars and leashes, pet clothing, blown glass infusion jars, beaded belt buckles, scarves, honey, pickles, chocolates, pizza and more! $3 admission will benefit One Fund Boston, Mazie Memorial Foundation and Project Just Because.
April 27&28 shows

116th Boston Marathon. April 16, 2012

“DISTANCE: 26 miles, 385 yards (42.195 Kilometers)

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events. …The Boston Marathon has distinguished itself as the pinnacle event within the sport of road racing by virtue of its traditions, longevity and method of gaining entry into the race (via qualification).”

Zoie runs the Boston Marathon


…and there she goes….. Zoie is proud to have been qualified and is off and running!  She has special fan wings made to help her with the heat today!  Those inventors in the Whimsical World of Botaniumus are very clever!

For those of you who may be new to our world/site Zoie is Queen of the Woodlands. Her long legs allow her to run like the wind. Her head plumes allow her to sense all. She ensures that there is a natural balance in the woodlands.

Equinox Eggs

The September equinox occurs at 09:04 (9:04am) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) TODAY (9/23/2011.) It is also called the autumnal or fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, as well as the spring or vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere.

  • (The following info was found at “What happens during the September equinox? The sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward in the northern hemisphere during the September equinox …  At that time, the earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the earth and the sun. This is the time when many people believe that the earth experiences 12 hours of day and night. However, this is not exactly the case…During the equinox, the length of night and day across the world is nearly, but not entirely, equal. This is because the day is slightly longer in places that are further away from the equator, and because the sun takes longer to rise and set in these locations. Furthermore, the sun takes longer to rise and set farther from the equator because it does not set straight down – it moves in a horizontal direction...
    The September equinox:
  • has been linked to many myths and superstitions in history. According to myth, it is believed that the September equinox is a time of balance when “day and night are equal” and that by some mystical force one can balance eggs on their end on these days. Some believe that one can only balance an egg within a few hours before or after the exact time of the equinox
  •  is a sign of autumn in the northern hemisphere. In Greek mythology autumn begins as the goddess Persephone returns to the underworld to live with her husband Hades.” (once again, thanks to for that info.)

Jolie EquinoxSo todays Fun Food Friday is a DEVILED EGG recipe! (Hades and Deviled eggs I just couldn’t resist!)

This recipe & info was found at EatingWell-Healthy Cooking Blogs site. “Popular as these two-bite appetizers are, they’re not typically healthy. Classic deviled-egg recipes are loaded with fat and calories. Our healthier version of deviled eggs has about two-thirds of the calories of a classic recipe, half the total fat and about 25% less cholesterol and sodium.

EatingWell Deviled Eggs
Classic Deviled Eggs
34 calories
58 calories
2 grams fat
4 grams fat
1 gram saturated fat
1 gram saturated fat
71 mg cholesterol
94 mg cholesterol
85 mg sodium
115 mg sodium

Although making deviled eggs is pretty straightforward, it is definitely possible to mess them up. Even though I’m the food editor of EatingWell Magazine, there are times I’ve added too much salt by accident. Other mistakes: way too much mustard or no mustard at all or (gag) broken eggshell in the filling. When done right, they’re smooth and creamy and the filling has the perfect balance of tangy and salty flavors. But if you follow these rules for making perfect deviled eggs it’s not hard to make them delicious and healthier too. How? Here are my 6 simple secrets for perfect, velvety deviled eggs.

  • Don’t go for the freshest eggs you can find. I know that sounds odd, and for most applications the fresher the better. But in this case, you don’t want to use eggs straight from the farm, as they’re harder to peel and you’ll end up losing half the whites in the process.
  • Don’t overcook the eggs. My mom always said put them in water and boil for 12 minutes at a hard boil. Now I know gentler is better so that the yolks get just set, but not overcooked. Place the eggs in a saucepan filled with cool water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Peel like a pro. After you boil the eggs, run them under a little cold water so that they’re cool enough to handle. Then crack them all over and put them in cold water to finish cooling. This makes them easier to peel.
  • Use two-thirds of the yolks. (The yolks have most of the calories and fat in eggs. One yolk has 5 grams of fat and 54 calories, compared with only 16 calories and no fat in an egg white.) Instead, use nonfat cottage cheese to stand in for some of the yolks—it keeps the filling velvety and rich while reducing some of the fat.
  • Instead of regular mayo choose low-fat. It has 15 calories per tablespoon and 1 gram of fat. It really is a miracle in creating a velvety filling.
  • When it comes to a classic-tasting deviled egg, you must use yellow mustard. It has the right acidity and saltiness that adds a special punch. (If you’re a mustard snob, you can do a blend of a more high-brow mustard with a little yellow mustard.)

Most of all, have fun! You don’t have to go just straight up and put mustard, mayo and paprika in your filling. Think of fun mix-ins like anchovies, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chives, cilantro or Tabasco. Or even try stuffing them with guacamole. And don’t forget this important food-safety tip: don’t leave deviled eggs out longer than a couple hours. (If your parties are anything like mine, your guests will eat them much faster than that anyway!)

Get the Recipe: EatingWell Deviled Eggs
Active time: 20 min.| Total: 20 min.| To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Deviled eggs are a perennial potluck favorite. Our recipe replaces some of the egg yolks with nonfat cottage cheese—keeping the filling velvety and rich while reducing some of the fat. No one will know the difference.

12 large hard-boiled eggs (see Tip), peeled
1/3 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallion greens
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Paprika for garnish

1. Halve eggs lengthwise with a sharp knife. Gently remove the yolks. Place 16 yolk halves in a food processor (discard the remaining 8 yolk halves). Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), relish, mustard and salt; process until smooth.
2. Spoon about 2 teaspoons yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
Makes 24 servings: Per serving: 34 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 71 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber; 85 mg sodium; 31 mg potassium.

By Jessie Price: EatingWell deputy food editor Jessie Price’s professional background in food started when she worked in restaurant kitchens in the summers during college. She started out testing recipes for EatingWell and then joined the staff here full-time in 2004 when she moved to Vermont from San Francisco.”

THANKS EATING WELL Magazine and web site!

The Joy of Music

I was feeling a little down this past week. First, it was raining, make that pouring, in the beginning of the week, I would not make it in the Pacific NW, I really DO need to see the sun! Not only is pouring/pelting rain a pain in the butt, crummy for dog walking, it also stinks for driving! Second, when the rain was over the 9/11 news, reminders, events all came into full swing, and that too was depressing. Important but depressing. Third, I knew I had a weekend of basement cleaning ahead of me. Not fun. Overall, I was just in a grumpy mood all week. The carrot at the end of the stick was on Saturday night we were going out to eat and hear some music from Debra Mann. She is turning into a friend as well as a favorite female jazz singer and pianist. I was just reading her website and found out…”The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences placed Debra Mann on the Official Ballot for the 2010 Grammy Awards in the following categories: Record of the Year (‘Autumn’), Album of the Year (‘Home’), Song of the Year (‘Heart of Love’), Best Pop Vocal Album (‘Home’), and Best Improvised Jazz Solo (‘Autumn’).” Wow! Congratulations Debra!

Last night at Chan’s in R.I she sang/performed many of her own original songs. I asked Debra about how she felt about last night and she said “I just loved the intimacy of the smallish crowd, and how the sound was so great. We were able to play with a wide dynamic range because of the conditions. The band sounded so great, too. I feel so blessed.” One of the motifs Debra played with last night was humor and songs by Dave Frishburg.  I had never heard of him so I “goggled.” The first part of his Bio reads-” It’s difficult to find a category for Dave Frishberg’s songs.  The New York Times described him as “the Stephen Sondheim of jazz songwriting”, and The London Daily Telegraph called him “a Woody Allen of song”. In his song “My Attorney Bernie” the first line is 
“I’m impressed with my attorney Bernie…. and further into the song …
I admire my attorney BernieI. I admire any guy who knows his stuff”
 Well, I have to say – I’m impressed with my musical friend Debra – I admire my jazz friend Debra.. I admire any gal who knows her stuff!” …  I walked in grumpy and left happy! The power and joy of music, with The Debra Mann Quartet, who made it all happen… Thanks!

‘A voice that wraps itself around a microphone like a soft feather boa’ – Rebecca Parris, Eight-time Boston Globe winner, ‘Outstanding Jazz Vocalist’

Have I enticed you? I hope so!
 Want to hear Debra Mann play for yourself? I hope so. Here is her upcoming schedule.

Saturday, September 17, 2011 
Greenvale Vineyards 
582 Wapping Rd.
Portsmouth, RI
1-4 PM
(401) 521-3333
 Debra/keys and vocals
 Joe Esposito/sax
Dave Zinno/bass

The Debra Mann Trio interprets the music of
 Joni Mitchell: A Retrospective Concert
 Sunday, October 2, 2011, 2 PM :
Barrington Public Library Theatre
 Sunday, November 6, 2011, 2 PM :
Warwick Public Library Theatre.

If you go to the Library shows, I hope to be there too! Unfortunately we will miss the vineyard one next weekend, but, we went in the beginning of the season and it was a lovely afternoon. Highly recommend it if you can make it. Wine, scenery, and great music-hard to go wrong!

Debra Mann Website :

Tilly + Deb Jazzing on a Piano
Tilly + Deb Jazzing on a Piano (image from a May blog post - )

Dog days of summer, and your garden.

Ron La Fleur: August Garden Chores
August Garden Chores!

Thanks to The Growers Exchange for this info!  (  August Gardening Chores: Ten Tips for A Tip Top Garden!

August is an unforgiving month.  The summer sun is at its peak and in many zones, rainfall has been scarce. Your plants are going into survival mode and need a little pick me up, before they either bolt or kick the bucket. With our tips for August gardening, your plants will perk up and look as good as the day you planted them!

1) Pruning is key right now: To keep your favorite plants healthy and happy, make sure to break out your scissors and prune your plants back. It’s best to do this in the evening when the sun isn’t as intense, and don’t get too scissor-happy –a moderate trimming will do wonders to add shape and strength to your plants. We recommend our Best Gardening Scissor for pruning small plants.

2) Don’t lose your head over fading blooms…lose theirs: We mean deadheading of course! For many flowering shrubs and annuals, you can continue to enjoy two or even three rounds of beautiful blooms that will last you into the fall by removing spent blossoms from your favorite flowers.

3) Pinch your herbs: Not to be a bully, but pinching your herbs back before they go to bolt will allow you to enjoy a more pleasant flavor. In this sweltering heat, plants tend to bolt more quickly, conserving their energy and using it to produce seed.  Prolong their useful (and delicious) life by keeping them pinched tightly for tastier herbs.

4) Weed like the wind: The more unwanted stragglers you can prevent from popping up overnight, the less you’ll have to deal with when they begin to go to seed and spread. Weeding your garden regularly also saves what little water may still be lingering in the soil, for your plants to use.

5) Put your woody plants on a diet: Now’s the time to begin hardening them off for winter. Don’t fertilize woody plants like Rosemary again until spring. Doing so now only encourages growth at the tips, not strong growth in the plant’s core.

6) Turn on the waterworks: Your garden is at its thirstiest right now. Make sure to water in the early morning or late afternoon, around the sun’s schedule. If possible, rotate a soaker hose that will continuously drip water in to the dried, powdery soil so that it actually penetrates down to the roots, without just evaporating. Focus your watering on tender young plants, as they don’t have the most established root systems yet.

7) Protect your pots: Don’t neglect your potted plants. Especially those that are in terra cotta or clay pottery. Make sure to continuously water them, as with the added heat and the seepage from their pot, they tend to lose moisture quickly. Try a self watering pot!

8) Make your bed: Get ready for this fall by beginning to prepare your garden beds. Layer your fall garden with grass clippings (or just neglect weeding for a week or so) and lay down wet cardboard, topped with compost and mulch. This will help encourage healthier soil and give the earthworms plenty to nibble on.

9) Movin on up: Time to repot your houseplants! Don’t overwhelm them by moving them from a condo to a castle, just give them a few inches more and they’ll be very comfortable. It’s a good time for this now, as they can get plenty of sunshine while it’s hot out and excess water can seep out of the soil without lingering and causing your plant any “wet feet.”

10) Mulch ado about nothing: Make sure to re-mulch your beds to retain moisture and to help plants stay cool.”

Again, Thanks to The Growers Exchange: Where gardeners go to grow. Check them out, there is all sorts of good stuff on their site!


Briscoe White is owner and head grower at The Growers Exchange (, an all-natural online garden center that specializes in rare and traditional herbs for culinary, aromatic and medicinal use. He has been in business for over twenty years, but his love of nature and gardening date back ever since he can remember. Member of many garden and nature-related organizations including the Garden Writers Association and The Herb Society of America, when not tending his greenhouse or writing for his blog, Briscoe’s Seeds For Thought, he spends what little free time he has planning his next garden and playing with his dogs on his family farm in Charles City, Virginia.

Fun Food Friday!

Ron La Fleur with WatermelonWell, its friday, its August, Wednesday was National Watermelon Day, and it’s hot. It seems right that today we talk Watermelon! How about a fresh LOCAL “libations” to chill down with? Sounds fun to me.

This first half of this post is “Seasonal recipes: 5 watermelon cocktails”-(Thanks to for collecting these!) Watermelon is one of summer’s biggest treats. It’s perfect all by itself, but it also is makes for a refreshing base for summer cocktails.

“Are you looking for something a little different to drink this weekend? Grab that huge watermelon out of your refrigerator and raid your liquor cabinet. I have five watermelon cocktail recipes that are perfect for summer sipping.
  • Watermelon Gin Fizz – As a lover of gin drinks, this recipe really appeals to me. Lime and ginger ale are added to pureed watermelon and gin. This looks like a refreshing summer cocktail, and the gin can be omitted so the kids can enjoy it, too.
  • Watermelon Vodka Slush – Part drink, part frozen treat, simple syrup, melon liqueur, lemon juice and generous amount of vodka are blended with frozen watermelon cubes and served in martini glasses. Definitely not for the kids.
  • Watermelon Punch – A rum punch with watermelon puree, fresh lime, and fresh mint. Great for brunch.
  • Watermelon Margarita – A frozen margarita made with fresh watermelon and traditional margarita mixers – a nice Friday night summer margarita that’s a refreshing change of pace.
  • Watermelon Bellini – Breakfast, brunch or anytime, this fresh drink is made with watermelon, sugar, lemon juice and Prosecco or other sparkling wine. Cheers!”

(Editors note- I would think these would be scrumptious with raspberries, plums, or pretty much any juicy fruit. You may need to add a bit of water?)

The second half is: Watermelon sours in a cocktail keg are a refreshing, creative way to cool down this summer (from online magazine covering fashion and design)

“Turn your watermelon into a cocktail keg. Cut the lid from the top and scoop out the fruit. Drill a small hole near the bottom and then use a knife to widen the hole until it’s slightly smaller than a keg shank. Attach the shank, then fill the melon with a delicious and refreshing watermelon sour. To find a keg shank, look for the kit at ($30).

It takes about 10 minutes to make the watermelon sours. Puree 4 cups watermelon chunks; strain. Stir in 4 ounces Alize Red Passion or other fruit-flavored liqueur, 8 ounces gin and 2 cups sour mix; chill. Add sparkling rose before serving. Garnish with lime. Makes 10 to 12 drinks.”

Just a reminder the Botanical Beauties& Beasties take the weekend off – They need their environmental rest, their beauty rest and some plain old zzz’s…hopefully they have some fun too. 

•REUSE your energy
   •REDUCE your waste
    •RECYLE your stuff   •ReThink your actions